Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

PLEA Prevails in Goldwater Release Time Lawsuit!

On September 13, 2016 the Arizona Supreme Court in  a precedent setting 3-2 ruling, put to rest a five year dispute between the City of Phoenix and PLEA who were being sued by the Goldwater Institute over full time release provisions allowed by our MOU.  The Goldwater institute had alleged from the outset that the City was violating the gift clause of the Arizona Constitution by “gifting” money to the union to have sworn police officers on full time release.  

PLEA and the City provided a counter position that explained the six full time release positions were costed against the contract which is negotiated every two years.  In other words there is no “gifting” of money and the full time release positions are paid for by the members out of their negotiated contract.

In the decisive opinion released yesterday, the court reversed the prior Maricopa County Superior Court ruling and injunction handed down in 2013.  The court also vacated the prior ruling by the State Court of Appeals handed down in 2015.  The Supreme Court clearly stated in their ruling: “We hold that the release time provisions at issue here do not violate the gift clause.” 

What this means for Phoenix officers is:

  • PLEA will no longer have to rely on member donated time to conduct union business
  • PLEA will once again be able to have six full time release positions dedicated to serve the needs of the members
  • Representation will once again be deemed to be a mutual benefit and will not require the use of release time  

CLICK HERE to read the State Supreme court ruling

CLICK HERE to read the press release issued by PLEA